Troubled by insecurity ?

Emotional insecurity sounds like a complex problem defined in a psychology book. But, only the name sounds complex.  It is a common happening, and appears all around… Wonder what it is?

It is what drives colleagues to take over team work, allowing no space for others to contribute. It also appears at workplace when one person talks through the length of a 1 hour meeting, making others wonder why they were invited to this meeting.

Meeting

It occurs when a visiting guest gives you a lengthy advice on how to cook well, and in the process also boasts about the superb dishes that she has specialized in. The conversation is also peppered with sprinkles of specific mistakes you should correct in your cooking.

On a more serious side, this insecurity inspires a silent war in households, on who has more control over the family. Control might mean anything…  from from deciding what to cook, whom to invite for a dinner… and who should marry whom.

MIL4-300x171

A person can live in peace when people around him respect his personal space and mind their own business. On the contrary, when another person suddenly decides that I am not capable of leading my life and his / her guidance is essential, it disturbs my peaceful existence.

So what drives someone to lovingly or forcefully make me do what they want? Reasons behind it are many … personal motives, dominance, jealousy, ignorance, stupidity etc… But the inspiration behind all these reasons is… insecurity!

Insecurity at office crops up when a co-worker fears that his talent would go unnoticed,  or that another person might become his superior, etc. Insecurity constantly plagues families, especially joint families. Insecurity that a daughter-in-law’s inexperience would ruin the family, insecurity that a mother-in-law’s dominance would destroy his / her freedom, insecurity that a neighbour might cook better than mine, insecurity that my younger cousins would end up earning more money than me, etc.

AB

When insecurity is mixed with pride, jealousy, selfishness etc.. it leads to more toxic behaviors like hatred and spite.

Humor is a gift that Nature bestowed only on humans. Similarly, insecurity is also unique to humans. Animals and birds are not capable of experiencing insecurity.

As I start understanding more about insecurity, it is evident that there are many insecurities within me… Where is the time to worry about why others trouble me, when all my time is spent in tacking and suppressing my own insecurities?

My only hope is that I will one day be confident of myself, and free of insecurities. From that day, I will not anything disrupt my peace of mind.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

The free child

Babies are cute, Babies bring happiness, Babies are lovable, adorable and beautiful… We cherish and nuture babies. We also ensure that we do the best for our babies. Most of us have our own beliefs in bringing up our children. In India, it is common for parents to think it is their duty to teach kids right from wrong, to teach them discipline, to teach them religion, and generally to teach our kids all that we know.

Baby

But, what if there is another way to look at children and parenting?

A baby is another human being. Right from it’s birth, it is in the process of becoming an adult man or woman. All babies are born with the instinct to know what it needs for survival. We do not teach a new born to nurse. Neither do we teach a new born to sleep. Every baby knows how to do these two vital activities so that it can survive.  This is not taught.

Humans are born with the capability to KNOW. We can think, we can observe and understand. A child is capable of learning all that it wants by itself. All children are born intelligent and can learn what is needed for him / her at every stage in life.

Does this mean a child does not need parents? No, Parents are essential to every child. Parents protect the child. They help children with their activities till they have grown in to an independent adult. But, parents cannot take over their children’s life. Parenting does not mean parents defining their children’s dreams. It rather means helping children become a full-fledged individual with their own dreams.

This happened a year back… A friend was worried about her 2 year old child’s inability to learn numbers. She taught her child using daily examples to count. She had tried the abacus, flash cards and educative books. But still her little one did not count beyond two. She recites all numbers by heart, but cannot count objects. This was worrying my friend a lot. But since it was frustrating both of them, they forgot numbers for a while at their home.

One fine day, her little daughter told her that there were many crows in the backyard. The next day, she told her granny that she needs many peanuts to feed her toys. Then she asked her dad for a flower. Slowly it was obvious that the little one was distinguishing between one and many. Over six months from then, she now says she picked two flowers, she has one nose with two holes, her doggie has four legs etc. In this six month period, no one taught the child numbers, or used the books or flash cards. She seems to know numbers naturally, through her own observation and understanding. It is not deliberate teaching, but an example where the child knows naturally.

This learning by observation and understanding is not a one time activity. Humans do this all through our life. From learning to sit and walk as babies, … to creating new dishes and innovations in the kitchen, we continue this self paced learning through out life.

It is common in India that parents want their children to excel academically. School curricula that boasts of academic excellence, international exams and bookish knowledge are believed to have higher standards than a play way learning curricula. Abacus classes that teach children to increase their maths solving skills are a mandatory after school activity. In the name of academics and excellence, we are making our kids forget their in-born ability for self paced learning.

Classroom

Children in many towns and cities have time only to read school books and prepare for exams. Their parents dream of making them score good marks and land a high paying job. But, his attitude towards life, how well he evolves socially and mentally, his creative talents, his presence of mind etc are not given importance. These skills can be acquired only by natural learning through out life. It is acquired only by giving the child freedom to learn on its own pace and observation.

Are parents in India ready to understand this…? It is time to respect the freedom for a child to observe, understand and learn at her own pace. Let us give our children the joys, activities and freedom of childhood.

 

 

. Image source: Static News,

Choosing a life partner

Are weddings all about shopping, endless phone talks, mid night sms, new relatives, fun and frolic. Yes… very much yes! In addition, it is also about two people, starting a new life together.

In India, and parts surrounding India, arranged marriages are common.Here the bride and groom are new to each other. Their parents meet through a common friend or marriage arranging agents. Their horoscopes were checked to see if they match. The bride and groom’s photos are exchanged to get their consent. Of late, the bride and groom meet and talk to each other before giving their consent.

Then starts the elaborate marriage arrangements. It accumulates in a grand three dayor two day celebration and religious rituals. Fun, feasting and celebrations follow for months. After this, the married couple live happily ever after.

Jodha Akbar

Truth is that, after all this, the married couple are faced with a new life, and a plethora of activities to handle together.  Rarely do they get enough time to understand each other, identify their spouse’s short comings, accept each other. They rarely become friends and fall in love. Instead, life just rushes by… The initial days are fun with romance and happiness in the air. But as days go by and they have kids, differences between them become obvious. At this stage, neither do they have the time nor the will to understand and accept each other. Is this happening only with arranged marriages? Sadly, No. It happens as much in love marriages as in arranged marriages.

There are lots of marriages, that do not take this route. There are people who prioritise practicalities of life first, before all the fun, frolic and romance. Here are the ground realities for newly married couples:

1. Select your spouse only after you know his strengths and weakness. Do you love him / her irrespective of their weakness and strengths?

2. Have you both talked about managing your finances, family and future plans? This talk is a necessity before marriage.

3. Are you starting your life in a joint family or in a nuclear family? Do you plan to continue the same after having kids? Make sure your partner and you are in the same page on this.

4. Kids… When do you plan to have kids? Are you both mentally and physically ready for startign af amily. If both of you are working, please understand the additional responsibilities that come with raising kids. Do not assume that your parents or in-laws will raise your child and you do not have to worry about it.

5. Are you a woman reading this, and if you are getting married soon… do you understand clearly as to how your personal finances will be handled after marriage? In India, it is a common practise, that after marriage the working women gets her salary and willingly passes it on to her husband. She concerns herself only with the problems of her job, her home and kids. Finance and famly budget remains the husband’s responsibility.kuch-kuch-hota-hai_122611043949

This will invariable lead to problems… Please set aside an amount for your savings. Plan your monthly expenses and set aside money for it. Encourage your husband to do the same with his pay. Pool the rest of your money together to plan for family expenses and savings.

6. Do you both respect each other’s personal space? This in turn translates to, do you both let each other lead a life of dignity and self respect? Compromises are fine, but they cannot be your life saver. If there are issues of self – respect and freedom, voice it out before the wedding. It is fine to reconsider or decide not to marry a person who cannot understand that both man and woman need self respect, freedom and dignity.

Considering these aspects do not mean that you are dis-obeying or questioning the choice of your parents or elders. It is all about deciding the life you want for yourself.

This is not a guide to fool proof marriages! It is only a window that opens onto happy love filled marriages. Wishing everyone lots of love, joy and fun.

Joint family – the delicate balance

Grandma’s, aunts, in-laws, cousins, kids,… and you have to find your place among these many people who live under one roof. Joint families are heaven for many, and a living hell for many. What makes it a heaven or hell?

The obvious answer is people and relations! Having one nagging sister-in-law or an interfering mother-in-law can make the joint family very difficult… Yet it is possible to lead a peaceful life in every joint family.

Kahani-Ghar-Ghar-Kii

Image source: TopYaps

Problems:

1. How do I retain my individuality, when I am expected to play the role of the perfect daughter-in-law?

2. How do I continue my hobbies / work / career when I am cooking and doing household chores all day?

3. How can I plan / delay having kids without answering questions?

4. Is it possible to retain my personal space and privacy ?

5. Can I protect the personal life between my spouse and me?

Causes to these problems:

Not one.. but many 🙂

The most common reasons for these problems are immature people in the family, very delicate relationships, etc…

saas bhi kabhi bahu thi 1

Image Source: The Sunday Tribune

Yet, there are ways to deal with these problems:

1. Take heart; you are not the only person facing problems. There are so many others in other families and in your own family too, who face problems. Many have found ways to deal with their problems and lead a peaceful life. So can you, if you have the patience and strength.

2. Watch, understand and accept people around you…. If you have an interfering aunt or mother-in-law, accept the fact that she has been an interfering person even before you entered the family. Interfering in other’s life  is her Nature and character. Protect yourself from her interfering character.

3. Keep away from people whom you have problems with. If you have to stay in the same joint family, then try avoiding having frequent conversations or personal discussions with people whom you have problems with.

4. If you are asked questions about your personal life / personal finances / career etc.., keep your answers short and simple. Giving lengthy answers and trying to defend your self will lead to unnecessary discussions / arguments.  You do not have to justify your personal matters to anyone else!

5. Keep yourself occupied with your hobbies / career / social activities. Focusing on your family will wipe out your talents and self -esteem.

6. Keep doing what you are good at… It is the biggest boost to your self-esteem. For example, if you are good at something (business / administration / teaching / sewing / cooking etc..), do not give it up for any reason. 

7. Protect your personal life with your spouse. Have personal intimate discussions with your spouse on matters that concern you. Of course, this requires co-operation from your spouse as well.

Happy peaceful women

Image source: Examiner.com

There is a Tao saying:

Rather than make the first move
it is better to wait and see.
Rather than advance an inch
it is better to retreat a yard

The bottom line:

It is quite natural to have likes and dis-likes. We can like members of our family, we can also dis-like them. But considering someone as our enemy will make our life difficult. It is better to retreat or keep away from people we dis-like. Why waste precious time in fighting or arguing… why involve in mind games?

The secret to a peaceful life is to ignore silly minded people. Focus on more important things. Keep doing what you are good at. Become financially independent. Do not lose your self-esteem or peace of mind at any cost! 

— These observations are based on my own experience and from other’s close to me. Your additions to this list are most welcome.